The US Resiliency Council has launched the USRC Earthquake Building Rating System. The Rating System assigns one to five stars for three performance measures—Safety, Damage (repair cost) and Recovery (time to regain basic function). This first-of-its-kind performance rating is based on decades of earthquake engineering research and observations of earthquake damage. GMS staff members Ramon Gilsanz, Karl Rubenacker, Joseph Mugford and Jennifer Lan have been certified as USRC raters. Ramon and Karl are also certified as USRC reviewers.
According to Ron Mayes, Acting Executive Director of USRC, “With the USRC rating system, users will receive reliable and consistent information about a building’s expected performance during an earthquake and be able to use that information for purchasing or leasing decisions on the buildings in which we live, work and invest. The USRC rating system allows an owner to specify the desired level of performance rather than accept by default the life safety performance of a building designed to the minimum level prescribed by the building code. We intend to expand our resiliency ratings to include other natural hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods in the near future.”
The USRC process is voluntary. There are two types of ratings. A USRC Verified Rating is used by building owners for promotional, marketing, and publicity purposes. A USRC Transaction Rating is used for transactional due diligence that accommodates both the schedule and cost demands of the leasing, sales, finance and insurance markets for commercial real estate. More information on the Council and its rating system is available at www.usrc.org.
The USRC includes 64 Founding Members made up of the leading professional organizations in earthquake and structural engineering, many large and small structural engineering firms, architects, contractors and hardware and software suppliers. There are currently 63 certified raters and 25 certified reviewers. The Council’s mission is to establish and implement meaningful rating systems that describe the performance of buildings during earthquakes and other natural hazard events, to educate the general public to understand these risks, and to thereby improve societal resilience.